Kickass and crows and cows

Kickass, the doorstop dog, reports that the keeper says to never mind the first robin, where he grew up in northwest Wisconsin, even the crows left to avoid the shank of winter; and he remembers it as a sign of early spring to hear their first cawing sometime in February.

It was on the edge of raven range and only a short jog north was required to hear the wonderful year-round gurgling call of the big black scavengers.

When the snow had finally melted it was an early spring ritual to let the cows out of the barn after their winter-long confinement in cramped stanchioned stalls. Not noted for their intellectual prowess, cows do display emotion, and after blinking stupidly at the late winter sunshine, one of them would make a sudden movement—raised head and tail, and then in a great stampede the entire herd would be off, tails waving high, ears and udders flopping as the celebrating critters did an awkward rocking-horse gallop down the lane and out into the pasture.

If you have seen a stampede of cows celebrating spring you have witnessed a great show, and if you have considered the crow over the robin as a sign of spring, you are the keeper’s kind of birder.

Happy crow/cow February from him and Phyllis!

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